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Int’l animal magnetism

Opting for opening in a few markets at a time rather than massive day-and-date launches, “Madagascar” led a moderate foreign box office with $31 million at 5,100 locations while “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” scored $4 million in a trio of French-speaking markets. UIP’s talking animal comedy managed to lead a weekend offshore for the first time, thanks to impressive openings in the U.K. and Germany, which contributed a combined 59% of the weekend total despite hot temps in both markets. British grosses (including previews) hit $9.7 million at 506 engagements, 50% better than “Shrek”; German takings totaled $8.5 million at 800, 7% behind “Shrek 2.” “Madagascar” also opened solidly in Hong Kong with $1 million at 49 sites and in Taiwan with $1.35 million at 80, outperforming “Shrek 2” by 32% and 16%, respectively. The Austrian launch of $1.1 million at 114 prints matched “Shrek 2.”

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